The Surge Review

Site Score
Good: Tense experience, brutal kills, challenging bosses, intriguing story
Bad: Difficulty can be beat, many pointless elements, annoying glitches, New Game + is a joke
User Score
(4 votes)
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GD Star Rating

When Demon’s Souls released it was like a breath of fresh air for many gamers, ultimately leading to the rise of the “soulsborne” genre. Since then several games have tried to copy the formula, with very few being successful. Following Lords of the Fallen’s mixed reactions is Deck 13’s latest attempt, The Surge. With a sci-fi twist to the beloved genre, extreme violence and a dark adventure, is The Surge a must for soulsborne fans or is it a modest outing, but not as good as the real deal?

The Surge’s story is told in a very unusual way. After Warren receives the operation and wakes up in a Mad Max-esque location, he quickly discovers something bad has happened and is tasked with making it to the board room. This seemingly simple task is filled with detours, unexpected problems, but very little plot. Outside of giving Warren a reason to go from point A to B, there isn’t much of a story. Instead, most of the story comes from various collectibles and select dialog.

These range from stories of heroes passed to explanations of how CREO is helping make the world a better place. None of these stories are practically well explained, but they do work under the overarching theme of the dangers of technology and things getting out of hand. It also approaches a grim subject with various solutions, none of which are conscionable, to solving a serious problem.

Even though the narrative explains what and why this happened, the main attraction is gameplay. The Surge starts by having five different weapon types, each with their own style and various different versions, some of which even have their own unique attacks. The best part is these weapons have a substantial impact on how you overcome a situation.

Faster weapons, like the twin-rigged or dual wield, is all about overwhelming your opponent, where as heavy-duty will knock them down, allowing for an easy finish. Several weapons also have flashy moves, such as the staff, making simple attacks look like a well choreographed production. Best of all, every weapon type has it’s own finishing moves, allowing anyone bored with seeing one move, the chance to see another set of moves. The finisher also changes depending on where you attack and whether or not you cut off the part.

Speaking of dismemberment, The Surge might have a morbid loot system, but that doesn’t stop it from being interesting. Instead of randomly collecting materials, attacking specific locations and dismembering them will give you that piece of armor. So if you need leg parts, start attacking and removing legs and eventually you’ll have all you need. Best of all, any newly collected piece will unlock the schematic, allowing that set to be crafted. This is important, since different sets have different skills. For instance, the hazmat legs allow you to stand on poisonous floors and the helmet making it safe to breath toxic air.

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The Surge Review, 8.5 out of 10 based on 4 ratings
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